Mortensen, Tara, Ana Keshelashvili, & Tom Weir (2016). Who we are: A Q-study of types of citizen journalists. Digital Journalism, 4(3), 359-378. (doi: 10.1080/21670811.2015.1053506) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2015.1053506)

Abstract: The study of citizen journalists’ characteristics and values has gained relevance and popularity, but problems remain in operationalizing the ambiguous term, “citizen journalist.” This study uses Q-methodology to determine the types of citizen journalists that exist in the newssphere, allowing citizens to define themselves. Through Q, categories of people are generated which are operant, revealing entirely new effects in ways that traditional questionnaires cannot. The factor analysis revealed three types of citizen journalists: The Nonchalant, Self-fulfillment Seeker; The Watchdog’s Watchdog; and the Passionate Pro-hopeful. The Q-method proved valuable in identifying new ways of thinking about citizen journalism, confirming some traditional knowledge about citizen journalism, and offering new insights.

Tara Mortensen <taram@sc.edu> is in the College of Information and Communication, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (USA).

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